As far as Fiat Chrysler is concerned, this collaboration is the first that could help them directly bring autonomous technology into their product lines, although previous projects included selling Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans for use in Waymo's self-driving vehicle operations.
Self-driving auto software startup Aurora said on Sunday it would partner with Fiat Chrysler to build autonomous platforms for commercial vehicles, the latest collaboration with an automaker for the fast-growing Silicon Valley company.
Aurora is developing hardware, software and data services. FCA says the system uses technology that is capable of sensing and navigating an environment without human interaction.
Aurora, a two-year-old startup based in Palo Alto, California, confirmed the signing of an accord with FCA to forge a powerful partnership on the development of self-driving commercial vehicles. "Aurora brings a unique skill set combination with advanced and purposeful technology that complements and enhances our approach to self driving".
Fiat Chrysler has an existing partnership with Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving unit, in which it supplies Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans for Waymo's driverless fleet, which is now in operation in Arizona. It was started in 2017 by former Google autonomous vehicle chief Chris Urmson, former Tesla Autopilot head Sterling Anderson, and ex-Uber autonomous vehicle leader Drew Bagnell.
The partnership is the latest in a steady stream for Aurora, which already has deals in place with Volkswagen, Hyundai and Byton.
This announcement comes on the heels of FCA's potential industry-shifting merger with Renault fell through the gaps. No plants would have closed if the deal were to happen, and the newly formed company would have been worth an estimated $40 billion and represented about 8.7 million annual vehicle sales.